LARK leafs through more pages. He says his “89-year-old
crusted-over brain” doesn’t remember all of the people and
“It’s just old, old pictures that don’t amount to much,” he
One of his old courtroom opponents might leap up and
object. There was no such thing as high-res images when
these were taken, so the quality isn’t the best, and he might
not recollect everybody in every picture. But they amount to
a great deal.
The photos trigger memories and stories that are
humorous, nostalgic and unexpected. They also provide a
image of his
house at the
The photo was taken shortly before the house was lost to
the Great Fire of 1934, which claimed 103 buildings in
less than three hours.
“That’s when my mother and father danced for joy, when
the house burned,” Clark says.
The fire was a tragedy for many, but a godsend to the
Clarks. Shifting sands had moved their house closer and closer
to the ocean, and it was about to go under.
“They didn’t have any rising water insurance, but they
had fire insurance,” he says. “The house was about to wash
away. They got the fire insurance paid and they built a new
Above: Sarah Clark with her children,
Sarah and George Jr., circa 1933.
Right: George Jr. and Sarah at the
north end of Wrightsville Beach,
Above: The Clark cottage at 9 E. Charlotte St., destroyed in the 1934 fire. Right: The
next Clark home at 9 E. Charlotte St. was destroyed by Hurricane Hazel in 1954.
WBM march 2018